- - Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pollster John Zogby grades the president’s week and how the week’s events affect his re-election chances:

Grade: F

“President Obama has been leading handsomely in some polls. He may even take heart in Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. Yes, the GOP candidate’s selection was out-of-the-box and on a Saturday morning no less. And it offers the opportunity for Mr. Romney to refocus his campaign on spending, fiscal responsibility and the nation’s unsustainable path. He boldly has offered a choice for voters.

“On the other hand, Mr. Ryan is controversial, and his plans to reform Medicare can be pretty scary to voters over 65. This is a group of voters who have been most loyal to Mr. Romney in the primaries and the general election polls. Losing even a small piece of their support really threatens his campaign — and be assured that Mr. Obama’s people will be jumping all over that.

“But even with all the hoopla over the Ryan selection, this week is all about Priorities USA — one of the PACs supporting the president — running an ad that essentially blames Mr. Romney for the death of a woman by cancer. I know that a candidate truly has no control over PAC spending and messaging, but the fact the president himself has not come out to vigorously condemn that ad and that PAC is shameful. Worse, it sucks. For that alone, he gets the hatchet from me.”

Last week’s grade: D+

Follow pollster John Zogby on Twitter (@thejohnzogby)